Thursday, December 31, 2009

My Dad, My Fashion Muse. Kind Of...

I have watched my dad wear his Bean Boots and Woolrich Wool Coat for years. It never even crossed my mind that my dad had great style. You could ask my mom about this, and she wouldn't always agree, because my dad has also been known to wear his slippers and fleece pants out and about for more than a day. What can I say, he's a creature of comfort.

This is my dad here...
But I have always admired the simple style he often presents; how it really works on him, his subtle plaid button downs with his slightly baggy Girbaud Jeans. He's a man of practical fashion, which is very much the person I am becoming.
I love over the top fashion, don't get me wrong. I still love outfit changes, playing with accessories, and dreaming of those amazing black wedge ankle boots that I have yet to find, but I also enjoy down to earth style. There is no patchouli oil in my future, but there may be a few more plaid shirts.


For Christmas this year, I asked for some Bean Boots from L.L. Bean. I love the classic look they offer with either skinny jeans or relaxed, opened or laced up, and they also protect your feet! Believe me, I am not just now realizing these boots exist, its just that I have taken a whole new approach on them as a fashion item. L.L. Bean grew their business solely on their Bean Boots ( no pun intended there...), but it took me years of seeing my dad wearing them and older, more conservative women rocking the moccasins to make me realize, they are awesome. Kind of like how at first Lady Gaga really bothered me, now I cant get enough of her.

I also am obsessed with these wool coats from Woolrich. In years past, I would cringe at the thought of wool on my skin. Whenever I would see a movie or TV show where someone fell into ice cold water, and then get rescued and covered in a green wool blanket, I would gag. I would rather freeze than dry off with that. However, I experimented and found that with layers, you can't even feel the itchiness of the wool, and low and behold, it really does keep you toasty warm!

Not everything in a closet has to be designer or expensive. Taking a page out of the 60's or the 70's can really enhance modern style. Opening Ceremony does a great job with this philosophy ( though they are a little pricey.) This vest and flannel work well together, like a perfect marriage. However, separately, not so much.

Branch out, dig through your moms ( or dads) closet and see what you can find! I bet you will be surprised!

Monday, December 14, 2009

A Somewhat Random Gift Guide

Over the years, I've had to get creative with my gift giving. For one, I don't like just buying a gift because its what you're supposed to do. Another reason is that in years past I really didn't have money to spend on my five other family members and their kids. These two predicaments have brought upon some good and I have come up with some great ( I think) ideas that have made a lasting impression:

If you are broke, food is the way to go. Back in my early twenties, I made everyone I knew chocolate and butterscotch covered pretzels dipped in sprinkles. They were a hit! Its very basic, because that's the only way I can cook. You melt the chocolate or whatever flavor chips, dip in the little pretzels, sprinkle sprinkles, let them harden... and voila! ( They could look like those there on the left. I used mini pretzels, more bang for your buck!)

If you want to really do something different, make a plate! (or at least hire someone to do it). My sister's family is growing and I wanted to get one big thing for all of them. I found this company online that made all sorts of great plates and platters. I was able to tell the artist exactly what I wanted and she made the most adorable platter that they use all the time! It was under $100, which I thought was pretty fantastic. ( That's it over there on the right... yeah, that's my spray paint censor. Privacy Act.)

I enjoy giving gift cards, but only if they make sense. I mean, when does Starbucks not make sense, but all the others I try and stay away from. Aside from Starbucks, I think Audible.com gift cards are great for the right person. Podcasts and Audio Books are all the rage, but the cost of buying them adds up. I found some pretty appreciative recipients of this one.

Anything photo related for the grandparents or parents. Seriously, I know its stereotypical, but its true. I actually just framed a picture of me at Mile Six during the NYC Marathon for my dad on his birthday, and he cried. Mission accomplished. Shutterfly has a whole store of ideas, as well as others like SnapFish.

And how excited would you be, if someone gifted you US Weekly or People? Magazine Gift Subscriptions are always a winner.

The bottom line for me has become about practical gift giving. No one wants a bunch of stuff they don't have room for or have to go into hell, also known as the mall, to return the thing. When I was younger, I of course asked for dolls and clothes, and watched as my older siblings opened pots and pans and housewares. I swore I would never ask for such boring gifts, but here I am, asking for these exact things, and I tell ya, they really fill a need.

Don't get me wrong, the lavish stuff is fun. But in the end, I most remember the small, more creative gifts that stay with me years to come. Feel free to shop off my list and Happy Holidays!


Monday, December 7, 2009

Knockoffs: Not Just Canal Street.

I always thought knockoff fashion happened only in places like Canal Street and in small corners and alleys of major cities. It got so bad once that Kate Spade ( and others) took out an ad in WWD calling out those thieves and threatening them with a law suit. I expect this type of behavior from the vendors down on those streets, not from someone like Anthropologie.

I was in the store this weekend and did buy a fabulous dress. And while I was in line to pay, I browsed the jewelry. What caught my eye was their Corvus Earrings. Many times on this blog, I have highlighted Objets d'Envy. They have been a client of Kick PR for over a year and the collections get great press and a lot of buzz. So, its no surprise that someone at Anthropologie probably saw the Objets d'Envy Crystal Ball Earrings. It should have ended there, but it didn't.

Click HERE for the Corvus and HERE for the Crystal Balls.

The Corvus Earring is the exact replica of the Crystal Ball Earring that Kirsten Goede, designer of Objets d'Envy, hand made five years ago! The difference? Price of course, and most important, quality. The Corvus is made of metal and glass, whereas the Crystal Ball was again, handmade and uses Swarovski Crystal and gold fill. Oh, and these were the original design.

I know when you are up against someone like Anthropologie, you don't have a leg to stand on, but this really upsets me. I get to know my designers really well, and I get sad when something like this happens, because the credit can be taken away. Small designers work so hard day and night to create special and unique collections, and then someone like Anthropologie comes in, copies the design, and takes the credit.

So, the message I guess is to keep shopping emerging designers. Often, the inspiration in many big stores comes from someone whose not getting the credit. I know it happens all the time, and maybe I'm most upset because its something close to me, but it gets me thinking more about this industry. Of course there will be cross over in trends and designs, and that's normal. But to copy something exact, not cool.

Shop Objets d'Envy this holiday season. Support emerging fashion and help give credit where its due.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

My Holiday List Scares Me.

My birthday is two days before Christmas, so its natural I spend a lot of time in December wishing and wanting. Well, actually I wish and want all year. Every week or two I like to go on to Polyvore.com and play. Some people play video games, I play dress up ( and so does my dog Elton.)

Anyway, this year the tally for my wish-list is a mere $15,420. Don't you think that's justifiable? Take a look! We've got a fabulous coat that I can't stop thinking about from Preen, a luxuriously silky blouse from Donna Karan, wool twisted pants from Aminaka Wilmot ( they surprised me, I love them.) funky suede wedges from Osman Yousefzada, leather chain gloves from Causse, oh, and a Rolex, to help me tell time. Anyone want to loan me their credit card?

Monday, November 23, 2009

Tyra Banks Picks San & Soni

Over the course of my five years running Kick PR, I have had the chance to work with so many amazing small designers. Many of them have a hard time breaking into the mainstream consumer market because they are short on funds. Many PR firms charge an arm and a leg, and make promises they can't keep. Being a small designer is a constant uphill battle. Whatever money there is, it needs to be allocated to make the most sense, and often times that's sales and production. In many cases, PR takes a back seat.

Sometimes though, even with the limited PR efforts, something amazing happens... word of mouth. San & Soni is one of those designers that people talk about, in a positive light. It's one of the most beautiful and unique lines I have seen, and every season the designers Jeet and Sonali Singh give us something even more special than the one before. This is a collection that speaks for itself and often times you hear, "Wow, what a fantastic jacket, where did you get that?" followed by "This is San & Soni." And it's in this exchange that word of mouth begins. Its exactly what Malcolm Gladwell talks about in his book, "The Tipping Point."It takes that one person, or group of people, to spread the word on something noteworthy.So, when Tyra Banks wore the San & Soni Princeton blouse from Fall 2009 on her show with Miss J, you can imagine what that does to a brand. Tyra is an all around fabulous woman. She embodies a woman of style and class, and choosing to wear San & Soni on her show is not only amazing exposure, but truly flattering. Even better, it happened on its own, naturally. Tyra's stylist was shopping in TG 170 on Ludlow Street and picked up the blouse.

The Fall collection is available online at TG170.com and www.sanandsoni.com, under Collections/ Fall '09. Check out the beautifully tailored blouses like the one that Tyra is wearing, the elegant and chic cocktail dresses that will wow a crowd this holiday season, and the blazers and coats that will keep you fashionably protected from winter's elements.

If you are in New York City, San & Soni will be selling for the third season at the Gen Art Shops event on December 2nd. The location is 7W, and shop 'til you drop from 7-10pm.

Friday, November 13, 2009

I Love Combos... No, Not The Cheesy Snack.

For the holidays, I try and be smart and thoughtful with my gifting. It's hard earned money I am spending, and the only way I feel good about throwing down the dollars is if I know I am going to make someone happy. People have confidence in me, that if I am getting them a gift of jewelry or apparel, I didn't go grab something off the Summer '06 rack at Wal Mart. I also don't always love giving something for the sake of giving something.

I just found out about the gift sets for under $100 from Chicago designers Kirsten Goede of Objets d'Envy and Kate Boggiano of Kate Boggiano Blouses. These two women are amazing designers, and happen to be very good friends. Girl power! They are both offering a gift set including a pair of earrings, an every day tank, and a pashmina for $82. What I love, is that there are four color ways to chose from, and I feel that having those options helps to personalize the look for each person. My mom for instance should really stay away from the color gray, but she looks ten years younger in teal and fuchsia!
And though what I am about to say may sound cliche, remember, cliche's speak the truth. This gift set is "more bang for your buck." Check out the sets HERE. And there's no timer on the website, so feel free to shop around for hours!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

New Hampshire Chic. Yes, It Exists.

My boyfriend lives in New Hampshire, so that means I am there as well. And New York City and New Hampshire are pretty much the same, so I don't even notice the difference! Ha. At first, I had accepted the fact that when I was in New Hampshire, I needed to put away all of my NY clothes and lounge around in sweats and flannels. It was a bit depressing; New York is like a stage and every day is a new presentation! In New Hampshire, no one gives a flying whoop if you are wearing shoes from an obscure shoe designer out of Spain. So I threw my hands up, stomped my feet and screamed "How can they not care about such things?!" Well, the answer always is, its just fashion. Its true, it is just fashion, but for me its a wonderful art of expression.


So after my tantrum, I decided I would recreate my look for New Hampshire and instead of dresses, tights and wedges, I would design "New Hampshire Chic." And I have to tell you, New Hampshire Chic is super cute! So, I went over to my favorite outfit design site, Polyvore, and worked up an outfit that I would wear. Here is my creation:

Flannel: Check. Puffy Vest: Check. Cardigan: Check. AWESOME LEATHER BOOTS by BELSTAFF: NEED TO BUY! So, its not that bad. Its OK that no one here cares, what matters is that I feel good. Somehow I feel like Blaire Waldorf complaining that no one at NYU knows who she is, but she gets out of her hole and builds a new life accordingly. And that's kind of what I am doing in New Hampshire. When in Rome...

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Adriana Carador: The Amazon Ring


I haven’t been to Brazil. It’s actually on my list of places to go someday. It seems to me that such wonderful color and energy comes out of that country. There are so many great designers, including Isabela Capeto and Adriana Carador. Adriana Carador is not only the name of a fabulous jewelry collection, but Adriana also a very beautiful, stylish and wonderful designer who is based in Sao Paulo. This is her namesake collection that has women from Brazil to Dallas head over heels. I have written about the collection before, and for that post, click here.



Adriana unveils new pieces every few months and recently she sent me over the image of the Amazon Ring. When I opened the email with this Amazon photo, I gasped. I really did. I don't generally tend to wear emeralds but the way these are designed around the ring with the diamonds in the middle...sigh, it had me at hello .


The full collection is at Fragments in SoHo and www.adrianacarador.com. And this week, Fragments is taking their show on the road to Choices in Pittsburgh from Oct 22- 25th. Fragments is showcasing their designers, including Adriana Carador and if that’s your ‘hood, I suggest you stop by for some shopping and chat it up with the designers. Don’t forget, trying on jewelry is free.



Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Priya Himatsingka Jewelry

I found this designer at Cape Weekend, and really fell in love with her collection. She has very unique way of working with diamonds and settings. Its not for everyone. People who like a little bit more traditional jewelry may not find the beauty in her collection, but I sure do.

I think these earrings are spectacular. They are diamond solitaire earrings featuring unique diamonds from India in specially shaped silver bezels. Every girl needs a good pair of diamonds!

And this ring is to die for. I am very much into antique and vintage. But do not mistake this for me liking things that smell like mothballs and a basement. There is quality antique and there is crap. This look is quality; just look at the price tag. I think its a timeless ring with style that lasts from the day you graduate from college until the day you send your last child off to college.

For more on Priya, find her at Cape Weekend or RISD Works

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Goodbye Pink Lace and Barbie Clothing, Hello Sophisticated Saurette.

If I could just shrink down to a size 4T, I would most definitely fill my closet with Saurette (and I would probably have to enter some sort of clinic, because a 31-yr old old in a size 4T, not that hot). But, you get my point.

Kids look so amazing in pretty much anything they wear. My niece Avery rocks striped leggings with polka dot tees. Now, if I were to try that out.. yeah, not so much. And speaking of Avery, every day she heads to her closet (she's three; we've created a monster) and says " I want my blue dress from Saurette." And as cute as it is, my sister has an issue dressing her daughter in the same thing every day. But Avery is a die-hard Saurette fan, along with many hip moms across the US.

So here are some looks for Fall 2009.

Color, color, color!! I love it. A cape for the young ones makes so much sense to me. I mean, its easy and you don't have to deal with pulling arms through the jackets and all that stuff. ( Oh wow, that sounded like and ad for Snuggie... my nemesis). And this dress in the middle is so perfect for that late Summer - Fall transition. Today its about 75 and I am in shorts and a tee. Put on a cardigan or throw on some leggings under that adorable dress and Happy Thanksgiving!

Saurette is loved by many; perhaps you have seen? Real Simple, Cookie, Daily Candy, and not to name drop, but Gwenyth Paltrow is a fan. Ok, I name dropped. You can follow Saurette on twitter @saurette for updates. If you are a store buyer, stop by Saurette at the ENK Childrens Club October 4- 6th and if you are a shopper with a daughter /niece/friend age 2-12, stop by Tree House Social Club in Los Angeles on October 16th, 4-7pm and meet designer Lisa Kanouse. Discount off Fall 2009 and a sneak peak of Spring 2010.



Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Am I Really Writing a Post About L.L. Bean Fashion? Yes, Yes I Am.

Summer is gone. It's just the way it is. I remember thinking one day in August when we had our first summer- like weekend, "Winter is gonna be a bitch." Because, when you have one month only of summer, that means the cooler weather is going to wrap itself around us and not let go for about..hmmm... seven months. Ugh. No one looks cute with chapped lips and pale skin. (That's why we use bronzer ladies!)

Before we enter that dark zone though, we do walk through the lovely season of Fall, which from a fashion standpoint, is super cute! I was browsing through the L.L.Bean catalog out of boredom the other day, and came across some legit items that can be complimentary to your very chic wardrobe.

Don't laugh, but I am bringing the Barn Jacket back into my closet. I was looking at it, and its actually a great coat for Fall. I am getting to the point where "practical" makes sense to me. Too many years of not practical has left me with sore feet and a bad back. Thanks stilettos! The Barn Jacket is simple; I guess that why I like it so much. They go so well with scarves and apple picking! And flip up the collar, it will update the look.


Starting mid Fall, my toes start getting cold and as much as I love watching homecoming football games and being outside, my time outdoors is sometimes limited. That's why I picked these Shearling- lined Boots, because they look so warm and I think they would look very chic over jeans/ under a skirt. You choose.


And with the amount of travel I have been doing, I recognize that its time to update my luggage accordingly. This Wildlife Tote is just awesome. I know LL Bean prides themselves on their totes, and up until now my thought has been "meh" on the whole initial tote bag. But now there is an Owl and I must have it! I don't like checking any luggage if I don't have to, and after last weeks scare of lost luggage, I will now be carrying with me all of my jewelry and beloved items, like skin care that I can not do without!

L.L. Bean has fantastic customer service, which is a big seller for me as a customer. They take back products and fix them, no questions asked. And you may ask, "Is L.L. Bean a Kick PR client?" Nope, I just really fancy their Fall fashions at the moment.


Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Front Row Notes from Tibi & Willow Spring 2010


I have been a fan of Willow and Tibi for a while and walk away from these shows feeling very excited to incorporate more color into my wardrobe. Willow actually started out with some prints that had me cringing. I'm seeing a bit of late 90's this season, and that's fine, but I don't ever want to go back to the 90's, so you are on your own with that. But thankfully there were many more amazing looks to follow and Willow wiggled her way back into my heart. Coutorture has a great gallery of pics for this show, as my phone camera just didn't do the job. Willow presented some gorgeous beading on jackets and blouses that I just loved, with a very soft color palette and feminine draping. I was curious about some of the material used in several looks, dare I say it resembled picnic tablecloth texture? But that's not necessarily a bad thing in this case. It was kind of a papery, crinkled look which lent a hand to a futuristic style which works, if you can work it, and I believe you can all work it for Spring!

Aside from the loudest music I have ever experienced at a show, the Tibi presentation was beautiful and SO colorful! I sat next to Meredith Melling Burke from Vogue who, I have to be honest, looked a little bored and made me wonder, "Am I an idiot for thinking this line is beautiful? If Vogue is bored, shouldn't I be? "But no, I am sticking to my opinion, which is that I loved this line. Tibi, like many other designers this season, presented beautiful floral patterns with touches of beading, paired with slip like dresses and chic, barely there separates. And its great how Tibi incorporates signature patterns into their seasons, with an updated color and design. The dress here was one of my favorites along with an adorable and very chic sequined mini. Never would I think those words would come out of my mouth, but darlings, this skirt is fab! I always love when designers get standing ovations; long days and weeks and months of what ends up being under 15 minutes is worth it all for that long and very deserved applause, especially at Tibi.


Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Leanne Marshall Spring 2010: Ethereal Beauty

I don't know how full time bloggers do it! I had all intention of updating every single day since being here for NYFW, and time has just slipped on by! For the first 4 days, I didn't have internet access, so that explains a lot, but I feel a little bad about my upkeep.

Leanne Marshall's show went off amazingly well, so well that she got a standing ovation. Fans in the audience weren't only editors and fashionistas, but Project Runway alumni Suede brought flowers and Korto stopped by as well. Green goddess and model Summer Rayne Oakes came to support Leanne and her eco-friendly Spring 2010 collections as well as folks from NBC, Daily News, Daily Candy, WWD, Elle. And our friendly blogger friends from PR Couture, Clutch 22, My It Things and Fasshonaburu showed up as well. Thanks everyone!

These looks below were taken by Portland photographer Minh Tran who is a long time supporter and friend of Leanne. So take a minute to breathe in these looks. Lovely. Feminine. Soft. Honestly and Truly Leanne Marshall Design.


















That wedding dress. LOOK AT THAT WEDDING DRESS!!!! No words. I am kind of excited that when I do get married, Leanne is just a phone call away from making something pretty amazing.

What most people were talking about after the show was the way Leanne keeps her style consistent every season, but updates the look. She's so great at the origami -like folds and geometric patterns. I have seen it before in her collections, but not at all like this. And with music produced by her boyfriend Nathan McKee, it was just an ethereal experience overall. And though she is relieved its over and can take a breather, its already on to Fall 2010, can't wait!

Also, if you are out and about under the tents this week, keep an eye out for Leanne!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Nary Manivong Spring '10 and Fashion's Night Out


Over on Little West 12th street, across from Tory Burch who was seriously gearing up for Fashion's Night Out, Nary Manivong held a Spring 2010 presentation, with yet again another great collection full of mini dresses, deep v-neck tops and dresses and slouchy, feminine slacks ( yes, I said slacks, I like that word.)

The lovely models were showcased up on a platform while guests and editors ogled, took photos and notes and bopped to the live band, 40's from Akron, Ohio (worth the My Space click-through). My favorite pieces were the lime green and blue combo pieces. The dress above, on the model smiling, was hands down my favorite. The sleek silk top drapes nicely over the connected blue skirt, and an extra bonus, pockets. Nary is great with taking simple looks and adding his signature details like exposed zippers and one shoulder tops and dresses. But overall, it was the lime/ blue that really electrified the lie for me.

I ran out of juice, so have limited pics, but saw that WhatsWearNow has some great ones, so check 'em out! Also, www.narymanivong.com, to see past seasons collections.

Headed over next to stroll down Bleeker and Perry for the Teen Vogue runway show. The whole street was blocked off, and the Barbie Girls were literally throwing beauty goodness at everyone. LOTION! TOO FACE EYE SHADOW! LIPGLOSS!! COME GET IT! The lucky girls were toting around bright Marc Jacobs bags. I was jealous and suggested that they keep the lip-gloss, and I take the bag. No deal. Pft.

As the runway came to life, models that looked just like they climbed out of the pages Teen Vogue ( I think that was the idea), strolled down with fall fashions mixing argyle, sequins, blazers and bags from the Poppy collection, the newest and more affordable line from Coach. Lots of teenyboppers around, so my time there was limited.

Headed over to Bond No.9 and Intermix, popped in here and there to meet owners, shoppers and searched for the FNO Tee, but no such luck, they had been bought up. It reminded me a lot of Halloween, people out in the streets all for one purpose: searching for goodies.

I can't wait to hear about the other amazing events, such as Mary Kate & Ashley tending bar at Barney's and I heard Charlize Theron showed up at Dior, which I would have loved to see. But, my feet can only take so much.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Hayden-Harnett: Lava Fields of Love, Spring 2010


My day started off with a rude cab driver and a story that ends, $50 later... Not fun, but I kept on a smile and remembered what this week is about, which is fashion. And, as stood in Starbucks juicing my phone after buying yet another charger because I was unprepared, I thought about how very lucky I am to have the experience of NYFW. With it being day one of New York Fashion Week and also the big Fashion Night Out, the city was just very energetic. Even in stores that had nothing to do with the events, there was talk. 

First up was Hayden Harnett, over on 38th street off of Park. Going in, I knew I was in for a treat because I always like their collections. The theme of Spring 2010 is Lava Fields of Love, drawing inspiration from lava fields and desert landscapes. Amidst the beautiful live Opera from the Opera Company of Brooklyn, models stood and looked fabulous in jumpers, flirty, floral khaki dresses,  and fun jackets. I loved the playful look of the prints, which are geometric and feminine and add so much to what could have been, just another dress. Not here, no way, would you ever say "just another dress." 


Hayden Harnett is also great in the  accessories department,  which this season was a continuation of their leather cuffs, clutches , over sized bags with soft buttery leather, and of course, the swimwear. Always so classy, the swimwear gives a throw back to the Gidget days with high waist bathing suits paired with halters. Patterns this season incorporate some neon, just a bit, which is reflective of the lava theme.  And best of all, Toni the designer and co- owner is just the sweetest, and for me that just wraps the whole thing up in a nice bow. Oh, and some Tarte products in the gift bag, score. 

 I have more to say, but I am tired so will continue todays reporting, tomorrow. 

 




Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Behind the Curtain: Leanne Marshall Spring 2010

From the minute I found out that Leanne Marshall was on Project Runway Season Five, I knew in my gut she was going to win. I had met Leanne one year prior to her experience on Project Runway and practically harassed her until she let me do a little of her PR. And I say it like that because Leanne was like many struggling designers; she didn't have enough money for PR, never mind rent and fabrics. But she didn't pay me, I did it for free ( well, maybe I walked away with a few items of clothing) because I knew that this girl was good and I didn't want to take away from the growth that she deserved.

So, she won Project Runway, gained a friend in Diane von Furstenberg, presented a Fall 2009 collection and created a chic line for BlueFly.com which came out this summer. And now, as we speak, Leanne is working around the clock on her Spring 2010 collection which, last I heard, was about twenty three looks, all inspired by.... a font.

( Sneak peak over here on left)

I love it. Leanne used to be a graphic designer and for Spring, her collection inspiration stems from a font that she has worked with. Last season, she had just moved to Manhattan and found easy inspiration in the skyline and architecture of Manhattan, because it lends a hand to such amazing detail and design, which Leanne is especially good at.

And this season, a font has won her over. As someone who has seen the collection in the works, I will say that her vision transfers over to the collection unbelievably well. And what I love most about Leanne, is she works so hard to make sure that every detail, every piece of fabric is just how she imagined it. So, in other words, I don't think she sleeps. Seriously.

( On the right, a magnificent look from Fall 2009. Oh, I'm sorry, did I drool on you?")

Leanne Marshall shows this #NYFW on September 12th. We can hardly wait, its candy for the eyes! www.leannemarshall.com

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Archive: Nary Manivong Interview

This interview was done back in May, in response to his Fall 2009 collections. There are some notes on Spring 2010 and what to expect. Nary is showing Spring 2010, on September 10th. Another designer on the rise.


I've been a fan of Nary Manivong and his collections for a few years now. The guy has got talent and he's a super cool and down to earth designer. Looks from his archive collections lend a hand to decades gone and prints that boast flirty, girly and fresh. Nary and I keep in touch often and he has been through a lot as a designer and as
a person. He is a designer who deserves to make it big and judging on his recent collection, it looks like he may be heading that way. I mean, when you have someone like Fern Mallis in your corner, you have a strong chance. But, in this crazy world called fashion, you just never know. Here is a light interview with Nary Manivong. Lets call this a Diet Interview:

Kate: Hey Nary! Congrats on all of your success. You have some great things going on! First off, you showed an amazing collection for Fall 09. Tell me a bit about that experience.
Nary: Thank you! I thought this was my best collection by far. It was me, which was part of my inspiration as well as redefining the 80s in more of a classic and refreshing style. It showed through the collection. The entire collection was personal because I put a lot of time into it until it was showtime. I made a few changes the night before the show and everyone thought I was crazy! I said "No, we have to do it." At the end of the day you have to be happy with the result. And I was.

K:
Have some stores picked up that collection? Where can people buy or view Fall 09?
N: There are some stores that are very interested in the Fall 09 collection, so there are ton of notes right now I'm reviewing. Also, I think due to the economy, stores are tight with their budget and are buying late. Henri Bendel was very excited about my collection (However, RIP clothing, its still an honor). Its also available for viewing on narymanivong.com and will soon be available on the e-boutique. ( Group shot is fall 2009.)


K: As a designer, you really have grown and people are getting to know your name. For instance, your Fall 09 presentation attracted Patrick McMullan, who did a great piece on NBC and also ran on Taxi TV. Was that your first major recognition?
N:
No, my first major recognition was Women’s Wear Daily (WWD) in 2005. The piece with Patrick McMullan from the show was just more recognition for me as a young designer. It’s really great to have that and it’s something I appreciated a lot as well! Check it out here, where Nary talks about being homeless, his Fall 09 inspiration and a few words from Fern Mallis.

K: You’ve had a tumultuous career, and I say that openly because you talk about it often and I feel it really relates with your brand and also tells the story of who you are. Some people may not know the hurdles you have jumped, mind sharing some of them with us?
N:
Both my personal and professional careers haven't been easy, but I didn't expect them to be. This design business isn’t easy and it’s a lot of work once you make it your own. I have gone through a few bad business partners that have just walked away from me. They didn’t believe my vision and wanted to control everything; from the way I designed to where the market should be. My advice is to stay true to who you are as a designer. If you are designing for someone else, don’t! Do it for you, and only you. You’ll get a lot of respect that way.

K: Over the past year, you have been the subject of the documentary Dressed. Tell me how that came about and what it was like being followed around and having your life journaled at every turn.
N: It came about from someone I know very well, who knows me and my background. She was doing a styling job for a commercial and the director, David Swajeski, was talking about doing a documentary and she happened to mention my story. Doing DRESSED was very emotional. It was almost like therapy on camera and I was aware that I was sharing my life with a lot of people. It’s great to look back and see how far I've come; the journey, the obstacle and the man I have become.

(K: To the left here is an ensemble from Spring 09, the time in which we currently live. Check out the Spring collection at www.narymanivong.com and click on eBoutique. I am eagerly awaiting my Abstract Dress!)


K: So, have you begun Spring 10? If so, can you indulge us with what we might see?
N: There’s a few stories that I’m working with for my Spring 2010 collection but I’m not sure what direction I’m going with just yet, that’s something the fans will have to wait and see. What you can expect to see are some of my signature pieces and more beautiful dresses. I’m adding menswear and more item pieces for womenswear.


K: Do you think you will ever show under the tents? Is that a goal of yours?
N: At some point in my career it would be an honor to show at the tents, but it’s not something I only think about doing . I’m more focused about growing the collection. The tents will always will be there.
K: Lets hope! The world has been turned upside down these days, you just never know.


K: Can you give us a fun fact that people don’t know about you? Leanne Marshall was interviewed here a couple of weeks ago, and she let us in on a little secret that when she ran out of underwear due to her hatred of doing laundry, she made her own. Can you top that?
N: Ha- ha! That’s too funny and I don’t think I could top that at all. I actually like doing laundry. For anyone who doesn’t know me, I would the say the fun fact would be that I am a twin. His name is Pila and he is currently living in Columbus, Ohio. During fashion week a lot of editors, models & fashion followers would freak out because they would see me through the entire designing process and when its showtime everyone is doing double takes because he was around. For instance, during the Fall 09 show I was giving the models pep talks and was pulled away for a minute to do an interview. At that time, Pila went backstage to look for me and everyone assumed it was me! After my interview I went backstage to talk to the models again and check to see if everything was okay, but the models freaked out because they were wondering how I changed so fast! I wish it had been on camera, it was so funny.


Nary also has been blogging and he's on Twitter @narymanivong. Make sure you keep your eyes out for his collections and check back here for future updates!

This Fashion Week I Vow To... Breathe.

I don't know why, but every fashion week I tend to get a little crazy. Schedule crazy that is. And it never fails that I end up exhausted, hungry, and in pain due to the fact that I have either stood in line waiting to get in to a show, or foregoing the subway and deciding to walk everywhere, in heels.

So, as I prepare for a busy week starting Thurs, I vow to take the time to breathe and go slow. I know, going slow and not rushing, isn't something that's easy during the hectic schedule many of us hold during this time, but I know that my body and my mind appreciate the TLC, and I will up being a lot more focused and can actually write better. And since I am a contributor for InsideTheTents.com, a more focused blog post might be much more appreciated than something all over the place.

I hope you all can do the same, because remember, Fashion Week is a blast! It's fun and exciting and there is just so much to see. I feel so lucky that I am able to take part in such a chain of events, not many people get to see this up close and personal.

Happy Fashion Week everyone, see ya around the tents!!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Is That Tea I Taste... In My Cupcake?


There are many uses of tea. The obvious one is drinking, but many people also use tea to reduce puffiness around the eyes, as a conditioner for your hair, and to even stop foot odor.

But a cupcake? Have you tasted a cupcake with tea leaves? Not until Ebony Wilson-Davis of Layers tackled that challenge. Layers is the first company to successfully infuse tea leaves into their frosting and cupcakes.

Layers Cupcakes, a Los Angeles based cupcake company, had already grown a fan base with their unique and yummy flavors such as Peanut Butter and Jelly, Blood Orange Mango Creamsicle and Honeymoon in Jamaica. People that tasted Layers were sure to come back for more. And they did. They are just that good. But Ebony Wilson-Davis, the baker, is always looking for a challenge and trying to create unheard of flavors. Working with tea leaves had crossed her mind several times, but until a very serendipitous moment to come, she didn't know where to begin.


In March, Ebony participated in the LA's Best Cupcake Challenge and wouldn't you know, the booth next to her was the company, Naja Tea. The rest, is history.

Layers came out with five flavors incorporating the Naja tea. Those were Mix and Mingle, Sassafras, Pink Passion, Tahiti, Allure, and Crimson Berry. And because Layers comes out with new flavors for every season, there will soon be more tea infused cupcakes, with even more interesting tastes for your taste buds. Think Egg Nog... mmmmmm.

You can ship Layers to your friends across the country, not a problem! To find out more about Layers and their shipping options, log onto www.layerscupcakes.com

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Margo Petitti Scarves

Every so often I will get an email from an alumni, who read about Kick PR in the latest school publication, and they wonder if I will help them with their new product. Up until about two months ago, I turned people away because, as excited as I am to see schoolmates be creative, just because I went to school with you doesn't mean I can represent your line, especially when I don't like it. I don't mean to be harsh, really, but people trust me because I am honest. Justify Full

I get an email from an old classmate who asked if he could put his sister -in- law in touch with me, because she has a new scarf line that needs some PR. I said of course, and thought no harm in having a conversation. Margo and I chatted on the phone for a while and then she said she was sending me samples; I could get an idea and see if the scarves were something Kick PR could stand behind.

I opened up the box and from the first moment I fell in love. "Yes! OMG! YES!" I said to myself, though everyone around me turned around, apparently I am louder than I think. When I tell you these scarves by Margo Petitti are fab, I am not lying, not one bit.

I have never seen patterns like this work: plaids, stripes, blues, pinks, patchwork. Its all so mismatched in a way that works like you wouldn't believe. There are scarves made with bamboo, silk, cashmere, and wool.


And the names are adorable. Lauren, Miss Kitty, Barbie and that's Francisco over there on the right. But don't be mistaken, these are no joke. Margo's scarves are all made by her, and she has gone that extra mile to make sure everything from the brand, to the hang-tags to the last stitch are perfect.


You can find her on Etsy and soon in some stores up and down the North East. I personally made a sales call last week, and the buyer nearly died. I am telling you, you want these scarves, and so do all of your friends. I promise.

Margo Petitti. Spread the word.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Go Ahead, Make Someone Cry...

Some of the best gifts I've been given, have had meaning or been tailored to my interests. My boyfriend is afraid to shop for me, which is fine because I don't feel like returning things, ha! No, seriously, he assumes that being in love with clothes and accessories, I would want more. But what touched me the most, was when he sent me in the mail, a mix CD with a photo of our favorite place as the cover. Done, he had me at "I Am The Luckiest" by Ben Folds Five.


And when I was moving out of NY, a friend of mine handed me a little pot, which in turn would grow into a 4 leaf clover for good luck. It nearly had me in tears, because I needed some luck and also, someone actually had faith in me that I could take care of a plant.

So, when Kirsten Goede of Objets d'Envy came out with her very sweet and delicate Initial Birthstone Necklaces for $44 ( !!!) I listed five people I wanted to buy this for. With the initial of your choice hand-stamped on the disc and paired with the birthstone of choice, its an everlasting gift. Its not a big necklace, and it can be layered with others, or simply worn as is.

Sure, there are a few companies that offer initial necklaces, but really now, who has $150 + to spend on that? Not me, and not many people I know. So, as holidays are creeping up, or if you feel like someone special in your life deserves something special, look no further than this collection. Maybe you will make someone cry, tears of joy, obviously. Don't be mean.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

#NYFW


I know its just mid August, but I have been feeling Fashion Week creep up and I am over the moon excited, like I am every season.

I have joined InsideTheTents.com, and plan to chime in on the shows I attend ;what I see and hear in and around the tents. Kick PR also has the amazing opportunity to work again with Leanne Marshall for her runway show this season- (If you are an editor and would like an invite, you may email me at kate@kickpr.com).

One of the greatest things about last season, was the amount of fashionistas that were inside the tents reporting back via twitter. I think it was @cutblog where I heard about all of those nasty falls on the runway and some of the crazy getups that we often see out an about.

I would love to know what shows you think I should attend, whether or not they are in the tents or not. I want to report on hidden gems and the underdogs of fashion, so bring it on!


Thursday, August 13, 2009

Penny for your Thoughts?

I love this Penny Collection from Tashka by Beatrice. She came out with a similar version last year and this past month has totally revised it, and I just love it. There are a few pieces that make up the collection including necklaces, earrings, a ring, a key chain and bracelets. But my favorite is the simple penny chain and also the chunky charm bracelet seen above.

I have never been one to wear girly jewelry, and this charm bracelet has a hint of masculine which really lends a hand to the style I prefer. Also cool? The fact that you can choose the year on the penny. Same with the ring I featured a while back. Soon to be available at www.tashkabybeatrice.com.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Obsessed With Something Other Than Fashion.

Obsessing about a certain fashion or jewelry line is something I am very good at. Its part of the reason my credit card is faded. My credit card has a wonderful vintage look to it, but in reality its one month old. So, I decided that I needed to replace my fashion obsession with something good and service oriented, like Felicia Sullivan's recent Fashion For All clothing drive. Amazing that girl! Its been my goal this past year to get a spot on the Boston Children's Hospital NYC Marathon Team to run for my niece Annika, and last week I found out that I made the cut!

Annika is 19 months old, and since October 2007, she has had two open heart surgeries and three catheterizations. (Annika's full story and profile can be found here, on CaringBridge.org.) All of her surgeries have been done at Children's Hospital Boston, where I have decided that angels take residence. Every time I pack my bags and head up to Boston for her surgeries, I lose a little bit of my heart. I am a fixer. I like to come up with a solution and fix things. That's just the way I do things here. But I quickly realized that I could not fix Annika, and the only way I could help her get better,was to raise money that would benefit the hospital that is saving her life.

She isn't my daughter, but my sister (her mother) is my other half and anything that happens to her, happens to me. So I take this very personally. That's why I applied for a spot on the Children's Hospital Boston NYC Marathon Team. I had to write a little essay, have a phone interview and will have to raise $3000 by December. I am 100% devoted to this race and this cause and I am writing about it in this blog, because it takes up a huge portion of my life. I am a busy gal, but never ever ever ever too busy for Annika and her little heart. This is the stuff that matters in life.

If you are interested in donating, I would be forever grateful and you might bring tears to my eyes. Here is the link, and feel free to pass this on! Thanks!


Monday, July 27, 2009

Have You Played Fashion Editor Yet? I suggest you do...

If I wasn't in PR, I would be a fashion editor. Well, that's what I would WANT to be anyway. Today's New York Times features this amazing new site called Polyvore, that allows the users to create their own outfit and display it in an editorial collage, much like what you see in Elle and Vogue. Its addicting, and I could spend hours planning outfits for the next 20 years. That's why I think I could be a good fashion editor, its shopping glorified! Anyway, check out my latest pairing; kind of loving this look!

Have fun and get back to work!

Friday, July 24, 2009

A Little Local Press, for Kick PR.

As many people know, I recently located to Cape Cod, Mass from NYC. This recession is a scary one, and in order for me to continue running Kick, I needed to remove myself from the expensive environment that is, New York City.

So I moved up here about three weeks ago, and have been working and maintaining my same daily routine of editor pitching, calling and even traveling with clients for work. Everything is the same, except its totally different.

Upon arrival in Cape Cod, I contacted the Cape Cod Times asking if I could write a fashion blog for them. Turns out , they have someone already, but the features editor turned the table and asked if she could do an article on me and the fashion contrast between Cape Cod and New York ( I did laugh, as did she.)

The article ran today, and I think its fun! I would never call myself a fashion maven, more just someone who immerses herself in the industry and finds a great deal of joy working around it. However, the Cape Cod Times refers to me as a maven here, so I guess I just have to live with it.

Also, I would like to note there is an error in the second paragraph. It mentions that I worked with Ted Baker and Mavi Jeans and that is incorrect. These were clients of Sharon Schoenberg, the woman I partnered with back in January. The reporter pulled it off the site and I didn't get to clarify, so I am doing it now. Anyway, here is the article. Enjoy! Cape Cod Times Article

I would also like to give credit to Bob Carey for that amazing picture he took that ran in the article. Thanks Bob! You can find more of his work at BobCarey.com

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

The Road is My Runway.

As many people know I am a runner and that I am training for the NYC Marathon on November 1st. For more information on why I am running, and who I am running for, click here.

I spend a lot of time out on the road running by people and cars. And because of that, I feel I need to look presentable, even when I am dying on mile 10. I don't like oversized t-shirts and cotton shorts, and even if I did, they would not be conducive to the type of training I am doing. It wouldn't be pretty; as I am learning there is chafing and also a serious amount of perspiration. Oh, and tears. This is hard people, its hard.

But, its a decision I have made, to run this marathon, and I have made it my mission to find chic and comfy running gear that actually inspires me to run. My obvious first stop was Adidas on Houston in NYC. I don't normally buy this brand, but I have to admit, they know their stuff when it comes to fit and style. And thankfully, I am not a fan of the Stella McCartney line, because $140 for a shirt I will sweat in seems obnoxious. I found a few things in the Running department as well as the Yoga. I fell in love with this Supernova Skort, it is SO comfy, the waistband isnt too tight and the material does not bunch up mid run. I guess i'm just a girly girl deep down, because I enjoy running in a skirt!

In the Yoga department, I found this Adilibria tank in fuchsia that I think is awesome. I wear a sports bra under it, but its super lightweight and I love the racer back and mesh detail. This line also comes with elastics on all of their tags, which is a little bonus.

Something I am known for, is leaving things behind when I travel, or just forgetting to pack very important things like a toothbrush, sports bra and socks. This happened recently when I traveled up to visit my boyfriend in New Hampshire and the only place nearby was K-Mart. I was a little hesitant, fearing that their sports bra department would consist of cotton and some sort of cheap spandex. I was pleasantly surprised by their options, and the Bestform bra I bought there is now my favorite, and fits better than my Nike one! And the fact that their products came in all under $15.99 is a bug plus. ( That's not me over there on the right...)

But I have to tell you the one of the weirdest things I came across was from New Balance. Recently they came out with the Bonita Running Dress. I cant really say much about this, because it just seems a bit odd to me. A skort, sure! But a dress? Wearing this dress while running would make me feel like I was late for an event and also, forgot to wear heals and instead put on sneakers. Sounds like a bad dream to me, so for now I will stick to separates.